Speed Reads

TV after the memo

Watch Fox News' surprisingly contentious debate about the Nunes memo

Things got fierce on Fox News on Friday, as the hosts of Outnumbered debated the release of a controversial Republican memo.

The memo, authored by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), alleges FBI surveillance abuses against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Republican strategist Lisa Boothe said the document — released to the public Friday after President Trump mandated its complete declassification — proves the FBI's investigation into possible collusion by Trump's campaign and Russia was "poisoned by politics."

Fellow host Howard Kurtz immediately interjected to note that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is heading the Russia probe, is a Republican. "I don't care," Boothe replied. "There's been plenty of 'Never Trumpers' who hate [Trump]."

Boothe then claimed that the Trump allies under legal scrutiny "[have] nothing to do with [Russian] collusion," prompting Democratic strategist Jessica Tarlov to point out that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was indicted in Mueller's probe for lying about his contacts with a Russian ambassador. When Boothe tried to explain that Flynn would never have been scrutinized "if we hadn't been talking about Russia the entire time," Fox News host Harris Faulkner jumped in to say: "Well, but that didn't press him not to tell the truth. He still could've told the truth."

Later in the segment, Fox Business host Melissa Francis clashed with Kurtz over her claim that the memo proved that "top law enforcement officials lied to a FISA court in order to spy on people." Kurtz shook his head and replied: "The memo does not say that." Watch below — the good stuff starts around the 43:00 mark. Kelly O'Meara Morales